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Bradley Beal Rumors: Star Wants to Be 'Dirk Nowitzki of Wizards' amid Trade Buzz

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJune 13, 2022

Justin Ford/Getty Images

Nearly every NBA team would want to acquire Bradley Beal if he becomes available, but the superstar could also choose to remain the long-term face of the franchise for the Washington Wizards.

NBA reporter Marc Stein provided the latest intel on Beal:

"I've heard a rumble or two in recent months from parties hopeful of luring Bradley Beal away from Washington that Beal is known for saying, in essence, that he wants to be the Dirk Nowitzki of the Wizards in terms of playing only for the franchise that drafted him No. 3 overall in 2012."

Stein noted Beal's words in a recent interview with Bleacher Report's Taylor Rooks:

Taylor Rooks @TaylorRooks

Does Bradley Beal stay with Washington? I say to Bradley that to the outside world it feels simple - that he is making a decision between making money or winning. His response:<br><br>FULL episode: <a href="https://t.co/LsazLYU1fv">https://t.co/LsazLYU1fv</a> <a href="https://t.co/aYvNQsuC1P">pic.twitter.com/aYvNQsuC1P</a>

"If I feel like I can win in DC, that’s what I’m gonna do, and I want people to respect that," Beal said.

Dirk Nowitzki spent his entire 21-year NBA career with the Dallas Mavericks, leading the team to one title in 2011. The team is installing a statue of Nowitzki outside of the American Airlines Center.

Beal has spent the first 10 years of his career in Washington and is looking to make a similar impact on the organization.

A main difference has been the lack of success in recent years, with the Wizards coming off their fourth straight season with a losing record. The last playoff series win came in 2017, which was also the last time John Wall played more than half the season with Washington.

Beal has emerged as an individual star with three All-Star selections in the past five years, twice averaging over 30 points per game in this stretch. However, he has been unable to carry the squad deep into the playoffs on his own.

It leaves a difficult choice for Beal as he goes into the offseason with a $36.4 million player option.

If he becomes a free agent, he can re-sign in Washington on a five-year deal max worth $242 million, per Rooks. If he signs with another team, the max deal would be worth $179 million over four years.

Beyond the money, Beal is also clearly considering where he can win and where he can leave a legacy.

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